Neuropathy is a general term used for conditions associated with abnormalities in nerve function. The word neuropathy itself means a nervous breakdown. The nerves that exist throughout the body can be disrupted due to certain diseases or injuries.
Discussion of neuropathy can be quite extensive. Neuropathy itself can be grouped by the location of the affected nerve and the diseases that cause it.
Types Of Diabetic Nerve Pain
The following are common types of diabetes neuropathy, there are four types of neuropathy:
Peripheral neuropathy: This type is the most common. Causes numbness in the toes or pain, feet, feet, fingers, hands or arms.
Autonomic neuropathy: This type affects nerves that are not in voluntary control. The cause is digestion, changes in blood pressure, sweat, intestines, and sexual response and bladder control.
Proximal neuropathy: This type affects the nerves of the thighs, hips, or buttocks that cause weakness in the legs.
Focal neuropathy: In this type, the damage is localized to a specific nerve or group of nerves causing sudden pain or weakness to a specific area of the body.
This condition occurs when neurological disorders or abnormalities affect the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. In other words, peripheral neuropathy affects the nerves in the limbs, such as the arms, legs, hands, feet, and fingers. These nerves are part of the peripheral nervous system that functions to deliver signals to and from the brain. If the nerves in the shoulders, hips, thighs, or buttocks are impaired, then the condition is known as proximal neuropathy.
Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy that have an impact on motor function:
- Muscle cramps and twitches.
- Weakness or paralysis of one or more muscles.
- Difficult to lift feet, so having difficulty in walking.
- Muscles shrink.
Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy that affect the sensory function:
- Paresthesia, which is a tingling sensation or a pungent feeling in the affected part.
- Pain and sting, usually on the legs and legs.
- Baal and decreased the ability to feel pain.
- Swollen feet that are not felt.
- Changes in body temperature, especially in the legs.
- Loss of balance or coordination.
- Feeling pain from stimulation that should not cause pain at all.
Conditions arising from damage to the involuntary nervous system. This nervous system controls heart rate, blood circulation, digestive system, sexual response, sweat, and bladder function. Symptoms of autonomic neuropathy include:
- Especially at night will experience constipation or diarrhea.
- Low blood pressure or hypotension.
- Feeling nauseous, bloated, and often burping.
- Disorders of sexual response, such as erectile dysfunction.
- Rapid heartbeat or tachycardia.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Fecal incontinence.
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
- Difficulty urinating.
- Excessive sweating.
Conditions in which there is damage to one of the 12 cranial nerves (nerves in the head). Here are two types of cranial neuropathy:
- Optical neuropathy. Abnormalities in the cranial nerves that function to transmit visual signals from the retina to the brain, thus affecting vision.
- Auditory neuropathy. Abnormalities in the cranial nerves that transmit voice signals from the ear to the brain, and cause hearing impairment.
Focal neuropathy or mononeuropathy
Conditions that affect only one nerve, one group of nerves, or nerves in one part of the body such as thighs, legs, arms, eye muscles, or chest. This condition is generally triggered by diabetes, with symptoms that appear suddenly. Symptoms can usually subside by itself within a period of 6 to 8 weeks. The symptoms that occur will depend on which nerve is affected, for example:
- One side of the face weakens (Bell's palsy).
- Numbness or decrease in touch sensitivity to fingers.
- Pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs or arms.
- Pain in the eye, as well as blurred vision (cannot focus).
Neuropathy generally causes symptoms, but not all sufferers have the same symptoms and severity. However, sometimes there are also neuropathies that do not cause any symptoms.
Causes of Neuropathy
There are many things that can cause a person to experience neuropathy. The following are some conditions, injuries, and infections that can result in the appearance of neuropathy:
- Trauma or injury. The most common causes of nerve damage are injury or trauma. Injuries can occur due to activity or accident.
- Diabetes. This is a condition that is also often associated with neuropathy. If symptoms of peripheral neuropathy appear in people with diabetes, then the condition is known as diabetic neuropathy. Symptoms usually become more severe if blood sugar is not controlled, or sufferers are obese and hypertensive.
- Autoimmune disease. Some autoimmune diseases can be the cause of the emergence of neuropathy, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Sjogren's syndrome.
- Infection. Some viral or bacterial infections can also lead to the emergence of neuropathy, such as HIV / AIDS, Lyme disease, and syphilis.
- Tumor. The presence of tumors can suppress the nerves that exist in the vicinity. Neuropathy can occur if a tumor (benign or malignant) appears in the tissue around the nerve.
- Hereditary disease. Neuropathy can also occur as a result of hereditary diseases, such as Friedreich's ataxia, porphyria, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
- Uremia. Conditions when there is an accumulation of residual metabolism in the blood due to conditions of kidney failure that can eventually lead to the emergence of neuropathy.
- Ischemia. A condition when the tissue lacks a blood supply. Barriers to blood flow to nerves can cause long-term nerve damage.
- Vitamin deficiency. Neuropathy may arise from a deficiency of some vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and folate, as well as some other B vitamins.
- Drugs. Some medications for cancer therapy (one of them vincristine) and antibiotics (eg metronidazole and isoniazid ) can cause damage to the nerve.
- Alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause damage to the nerves. Typically liquor addicts have nutritional deficiencies and vitamins.
- Poison. Some toxins or harmful compounds can cause damage to human nerves, such as pesticides, gold compounds, arsenic, lead, or mercury.
Diagnosis of Neuropathy
At the beginning of the examination, the doctor will inquire about the perceived symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical examination to find out the cause and severity.
In addition, additional checks may be made to confirm the diagnosis and the cause. One of the usual checks is a blood test, to see if there are certain medical conditions that cause nerve damage.
To find out if there is emphasis or damage to the nerve, imaging can be done such as X-rays, CT scan, and MRI. While the checks that are performed specifically to see the neural function are:
Electromyography (EMG). This test serves to measure neural function.
Neural conduction velocity test (NCV). This test serves to measure the speed of signal on the nerves.
Nerve biopsy. It is a neural network sampling procedure, to be examined under a microscope. If necessary, a skin biopsy may also be performed to check the depth of nerve fibers in the skin.
Treatment of Neuropathy
The goal of neuropathy treatment is to relieve emerging symptoms and address the underlying cause. If the underlying condition is treated, then neuropathy will disappear or heal by itself.
Particularly in diabetic neuropathy, regulation of blood sugar levels will be very important in helping prevent further damage to affected parts of the nerves.
If neuropathy is caused by suppression or clamping on the nerve, then the treatment is through surgical procedures. Whereas if neuropathy occurs due to autoimmune diseases, infections, kidney disorders, vitamin deficiencies, drug side effects, injury, or other conditions, then the treatment will be adjusted to the underlying disorder.
The following are examples of drugs commonly used in overcoming the conditions and symptoms associated with neuropathy:
- Opioids and similar drugs.
- Topical pain reliever (applied to the skin).
- Antioxidant alpha lipoic acid (to overcome the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy).
- If symptoms or pain do not subside after treatment, a procedure called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can be performed to stimulate the nervous system, using electrical energy delivered through the skin surface.
Neuropathy, especially diabetic neuropathy, is common in leg nerves. Therefore, it is very important for the sufferer to give special care to the body part. Patients are encouraged to:
- Not out of the house without wearing footwear.
- Do not use damaged footwear or do not fit the size of the foot when it is engaged.
- Wash feet with warm water every day and dry them, especially in the toes between the toes.
- Do not let toenails grow too long, or cut too short.
- Check your feet regularly for tears, blisters, or other damage.
- Massage the foot to improve circulation or stop smoking to improve blood circulation.
- Use thick socks to prevent friction or injury.
Prevention of Neuropathy
Just like a treatment step, the precautions you can take to avoid neuropathy depend on the underlying conditions. Diabetic neuropathy can be prevented by maintaining and monitoring blood sugar levels regularly so as not to exceed normal limits. While neuropathy due to lack of nutrition, vitamin deficiency, or alcoholism, can be prevented by applying a balanced diet and limit the consumption of alcohol.